good friends + good food + good weather + good games = recipe for a great day!

-whew- having company over is a lot of work, especially if you are one of those do-it-all-yourself type people! yes, that means i am one of them. friday i made two cold pasta dishes: penne with tomatoes and fresh basil, and rotini with veggies in a vinaigrette; blueberry oat bars, vanilla as well as chocolate cupcakes with various icings, marinated the portobellos, brewed iced green tea, squeezed fresh lemonade, and i want to say another thing or two but i forget. saturday i woke up around 4, laid in bed until 6:30 or so, when i gave in and got up for the day– i made chocolate chip cookies, sliced up and seasoned the veggies for grilling, got the veggie burgers & dogs ready to go, sliced up the roasted red peppers, burnt the bread in the broiler (no, not on purpose– my dad came over to see me and i didn’t keep a close eye on it; side note: my father brought by our old silent reel home movies that he finally got put on dvd, proof that i did, in fact, exist before the mid-80s when they got a VCR-compatible video camera– something i have often doubted since as a second child there are about 5 pictures of me as a kid), assembled the hummus w/ pita, pita chips, and carrots, tortilla chips with salsa, pretzels, fruit, arranged the patio furniture, and tried to prepare my home for my un-birthday party. see, i am not big into celebrating my birthday, but i do love an excuse to see my friends, so i invited a few over for some food and lawn games on the day before my actual birthday. initially, i wasn’t sure i was going to go all out with the food, but it seems i set the expectations for myself a bit high with my baking, and i didn’t want to let anyone down, nor be caught without enough food.

let me just tell you, there certainly was no shortage of food! i had a few last-minute cancellations and a bunch of ‘maybe’s so i wanted a buffer, and apparently overshot. oops. thankfully, everything i made was vegan, so it was able to be shared at my friend who is having company today’s house. it saddened me to throw out the stuff that had been sitting out all day (like the hummus and salsa), but i managed to preserve the rest by only having it out during eatin’ time. i got lots of compliments on my grilled veggies and marinade, which made me happy since i was just winging it! and i am super glad i made the last minute addition of the cookies, as they were a huge hit! that is the one thing that just about everyone brought leftovers home of.

although it is the next day and i am still cleaning and washing dishes with seemingly no end in sight, i am extremely happy with the trade-off:  i got to see several of my good friends, some of which i haven’t seen in quite some time;  the weather was wonderful; lawn games were played; we watched team usa tie england in the world cup game; and good times were had by all! i forgot to take pictures of all the food, oops…i will just have to make it all again, but spread out over time! btw- thanks to andy for taking the pix of me, since while i can take pictures of my baked goods, it is quite difficult to take candid shots of yourself!

so, today is my actual birthday, and i am keeping it low-key. i have a history of bad birthdays, plus i like to relax on sundays anyway. i have been cleaning up from yesterday, doing laundry, i made myself and sheryl some delicious hearty oat belgian waffles (modifying this pancake recipe by veganizing it and removing the blueberries), watching some history channel specials i dvr’ed, and i might hang my new chandelier (which is replacing the 80s-style track lighting that was here when i moved in a couple years ago, that i kept meaning to take down). very exciting, i know…i told’ya i wasn’t much of a birthday person! (update: thunderstorms today, i am thinking installing the chandelier might be a bad idea… something about holding electrical wires during lightning strikes me as something i should avoid)

4 Responses to a lovely formula

  1. Rose Marie says:

    Looks like you had a fun day and out did yourself with a beautiful spread. Everything looked so professional. You really need to sell your cupcakes. They look better than some of the ones I have seen at the local bakery. It takes a lot of prep time to pull off all of the food that you prepared. Well done! I am so proud of the baker you have become.

  2. [...] chip cookies never ends. this was an attempt to recreate a non-vegan version of what i made at my bbq. while looking for a recipe, i saw one that used pudding, and remembering how much of a hit the [...]

  3. Chandra Sanders says:

    Hi Sharon … Great Picture!!! I love your recipes. Your mom has given me some great ones over the years now I have started a list of all the wonderful things I’m going to try to imitate from your website. Keep up the good work!!! Chandra and Mykaela

  4. sharon says:

    thanks so much! i hope you enjoy the recipes; if there is anything in particular you would like to see, let me know. i miss you guys! hope you and the little lady are doing well (o:

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